Building a custom home doesn’t mean breaking the bank. There are ways you can create your custom home and save pennies at the same time. Homeowners with do-it-yourself skills may be able to finish projects themselves. Extras such as additional bathrooms or finished attic space can be completed later. Plenty of attractive flooring and wall finishes are available for those on a budget.
The Custom Home Building Process
Sitting room bay window by Jesus Rodriguez is licensed with CC BY 2.0
The process of building a custom home has a few basic steps:
- Research and preparation: Explore your options and find ideas by visiting model homes and searching online. Choose your desired location and select a home builder.
- Builder consultation: Meet with home builder representatives to review options that meet your family’s needs.
- Budget and design: Choose your home’s design details and determine a project budget; in this case, your budget is $300,000.
- Construction: Watch your new home being built, which can take at least six months. This process should be insured, permitted, and inspected along the way.
Custom Home Costs
There are four main costs when building a custom home:
- Size: Framing is one of the highest costs, and the square footage or the number of bedrooms and bathrooms can significantly impact your budget.
- Design: Simple home design can keep costs down, whereas intricate or complex designs will drive up the cost quickly.
- Land cost: If you build on a lot you own, you can save a lot of money.
- Building materials: Choose carefully when selecting the foundation style, siding, roof, and interior.
Not including land, the average cost to construct a home is about $300,000, according to the National Association of Home Builders. A theoretical home in the $300,000 range, not including land, may be broken down into several expenses, such as:
- $18,000: Site preparation, inspections, and fees.
- $34,000: Foundation and basement floor.
- $52,000: Framing the structure.
- $45,000: Exterior, including siding and roof.
- $45,000: Home systems (electrical, HVAC, plumbing).
- $75,000: Interior, including walls, ceilings, and flooring.
- $20,000: Outdoor finishes (driveway, patios, landscaping, and sidewalks).
- $11,000: Other expenses and options.
For $300,000, you can expect a home of approximately 3,000 square feet.
Flooring expenses will depend on whether you go with carpet, hardwood flooring, laminate, or tiles and will run you approximately $6 to $10 per square foot. Options per square foot include:
- Hardwood: $10 to $18.
- Engineered wood: $6 to $20.
- Carpet: $1 to $3.
- Laminate: $6 to $9.
- Linoleum or vinyl: $3 to $10.
- Porcelain tile: $3 to $10.
- Ceramic tile: $2.50 to $3.
- Polished concrete: $3 to $15.
The cost of windows and doors will also depend on the size and quality, but you can expect to pay approximately $10 to $75 per square foot installed. Options per square foot include:
- Vinyl: $10 to $40.
- Wood clad: $35 to $75.
- Fiberglass: $25 to $55.
- Aluminum: $20 to $40.
- Soundproof: $30 to $75.
- Impact: $40 to $75.
You can expect to pay between $360 and $2,185 per square foot to cover your home with quality roofing materials, depending on the materials used and size. On a 3,000-square-foot home, the approximate total cost will be as follows:
- Asphalt: $10,800.
- Vinyl: $13,200.
- Foam: $13,500.
- Rubber: $18,000.
- Wood shake: $24,000.
- Metal: $24,000.
- Slate: $44,400.
- Concrete: $45,000.
- Solar: $65,550.
If you plan to add exterior features, such as a deck, patio, driveway, or landscaping, you can expect to spend even more. According to HomeGuide, average per square foot expenses include:
- Outdoor deck: $15 to $30.
- Driveway: $1 to $8.
- Landscaping installation: $4 to $12.
- Patio: $4 to $25.
- Garage: $35 to $60.
The builder’s quote will likely not include window treatments, mirrors, shelving for the closet or pantry, and other finishing touches. All these are additional expenses added to the total cost of your new home.
Saving Money on a New Home
You can save money when constructing a new home by considering the four main construction costs: size, design, land, and materials. Decide which feature is the most important to you when planning your budget. Do you prefer a specific location, square footage, unique architectural features, or distinctive interior and exterior finishes? If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you might be able to complete some of the finishing work later. Ways to save money on your new home include:
- Unfinished square footage: Some homeowners also opt to leave lower levels unfinished until a later date or complete them on their own.
- Home styles: Ranch-style homes are built on one level and are often the most budget-friendly to construct.
- Location of property: The land is a significant cost if the homeowner doesn’t already own the lot or property where the house will be constructed.
- Basic versus premium materials: Cost savings can be realized by selecting standard features, choosing more economical finishes, and avoiding add-ons, such as built-in bookshelves.
Sketching a Plan
Providing your home designer with a floor plan is an excellent start to envisioning your new home. Floor plans are a house map that allows future homeowners to show an architect what they want. They are often two-dimensional drawings on paper or can be three-dimensional when created with a computer program. For more accuracy, floor plans can be drawn to scale on graphing paper or in digital plans. They can include walls, doors, windows, fixtures, and other objects. Creating basic floor plans helps save time when communicating your needs to the home designer and builder.
In addition to helping with design, floor plans allow modifications before more detailed blueprints are drawn and can help with materials and labor planning. Floor plans should include dimensions and details of the layout of bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, closets, hallways, basements, and garages. Stairways and steps should also be indicated. Be sure to sketch windows, doors, furniture, and appliances to ensure the layout works.
Steiner Homes Can Help
We’d love to discuss your custom home-building goals and review any sketches you may have. Check our floor plans for ideas and inspiration as you explore home-building options. We offer customized plans and can fine-tune designs to meet your family’s needs. Our experts can help you get what you want at your $300,000 price point. Feel free to call us at 219-255-4453 or use our secure online contact us form to get started today.